9:35am PT by Eriq Gardner
Bill Cosby Looks to Silence Rape Accuser, Blames Her Lawyers for Deposition Leak
In a lawsuit, Bill Cosby accuses former Temple University employee Andrea Constand and those around her of breaching a confidential 2006 settlement.
The Hollywood Reporter first detailed that Cosby was suing under the cloak of seal. The judge ordered a redacted version. On Thursday, Cosby's attorneys lodged this in Pennsylvania federal court, and it makes clear his goal of keeping quiet the woman who is at the center of a pending criminal charge against him. Also being sued is the parent company of National Enquirer as well as Constand's mother and two of her attorneys, Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz.
"Defendants are blatantly violating their confidentiality obligations under the 2006 Confidential Settlement Agreement, including by intentionally disclosing information they promised to keep confidential as consideration for the settlement," states the lawsuit. "Defendants should be enjoined from further violations. Defendants and each of them should also be liable for damages caused by their prior breaches."
According to Cosby's complaint, after the Montgomery County DA in Pennsylvania reopened a criminal investigation of sexual abuse allegations made by Constand, Troiani "turned her files over" despite allegedly being expressly prohibited to do so by terms of the contract. Troiani is also said to have disclosed the settlement.
Cosby's lawsuit also discusses the way that The New York Times was able to obtain a full copy of Cosby's decade-old deposition from Constand's lawsuit. Cosby's admission of giving women drugs for the purposes of sex prompted a press firestorm and helped instigate a reopening of the case. The AP and THR first revealed the deposition excerpts from old court documents that had been unsealed. The Times then gained access to a full copy of the deposition. The newspaper reported at the time that it procured the deposition from a court-reporting service.
"On information and belief, the deposition transcript was improperly released because Troiani and Kivitz either instructed the Court Reporter to release it, or knowingly failed to use her best efforts to ensure that her vendors comply with the confidentiality provisions of the 2006 Confidential Settlement Agreement," states the complaint.
Cosby is also taking issue with Constand's own defamation lawsuit filed last year against former Montgomery DA Bruce Castor, who originally declined to prosecute Cosby. The entertainer alleges that Constand's complaint "includes information required to be kept confidential" and further, that Troiani and Kivitz wrote an open letter to Castor, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, that constituted a separate breach of confidentiality.
The latest lawsuit also discusses how Constand's mother participated in a profile with the Toronto Sun and how Constand herself did things like tweeting, "I won't go away, there is a lot more I will say."
As for American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer and was itself a party to the 2006 settlement agreement thanks to a story it published then about Cosby and allegations swirling around him, Cosby says the publication's breaches are "too voluminous to comprehensively enumerate," but gives some examples including reports of Cosby's depositions in recent articles titled, "World Exclusive: Bill Cosby Will Die in Jail," "Saved by the Bell Star Accuses Bill Cosby, Martin Lawrence, and John Travolta of Abuse," and "99 Victims in 43 Years for Bill Cosby!"
Information about what Cosby paid to settle the old Constand civil case appears to be redacted, but Cosby is now seeking restitution plus punitive damages.